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Why Create a Kids’ Art Wall?
I was searching for ideas for a kids’ art wall the other day. You know, a place to display the bazillion doodles and drawings and randomly paintings the kids create throughout the day, even more-so now that it’s summer break. Then it hit me! Instead of creating a wall to display all of those papers, why not just create an actual kids’ art wall? Why not designate an entire space where they could just let their imaginations lead them? Truly encourage them to be authentically creative.
Where to Build a Kids’ Art Wall
I wandered around the house looking for the perfect space, but nothing was really clicking. The dog would knock over the paint water, if we put it there. Paint would drip onto the carpet, if we put it over there. Yadda yadda. I tucked the idea back into my brain and figured I’d work it out another day.
The next day, we headed out to sell one of our cars. When we returned from the dealership, we opened the garage just like any other day, but this time, we could really appreciate the space. There was so much room for activities (name that movie)! And finally, it clicked! That was the space I had been looking for the day previous. It was perfect for a kids’ art wall. That big, beautiful canvas had been blocked by a car this entire time.
Preparing the Wall
In many cases, I think people already have white garage walls, so you might get to skip this entire step. In our case, the walls were painted dark grey, so they needed a little attention. We tucked the kids into bed that night and snuck out to work on our secret mission. A single gallon of Behr Ultra Pure White in high gloss did the trick. We were scraping the bottom of the gallon near the end, but it got the job done.
Painting Supplies for the Kids
For their painting, I wanted to stick with watercolors. It won’t affect the garage floors at all. It’s super easy clean up. And, well, it’s just beautiful. I found this set of traditional colors + pearlescent watercolors. I liked that they were separated into two separate containers, so the boys could each wander around with their own paint palette.
Apparently 72 colors weren’t enough for them, as they have also confiscated my personal set, which are these super bright watercolors from Faber-Castell. To be honest, I do love the Faber-Castell set, but we got them in one of those monthly subscription boxes years ago. I probably wouldn’t have bought them. It’s an awesome set. You can remove the paint pots and reconnect them into shapes, there is a lot of paint in the pots themselves, and the case itself is very high quality. That being said, they are a little overkill in price for what we personally do with watercolors. They would make a great gift set, though.
For rinsing and storing their brushes, I wanted to use jars, but knew they would get knocked onto the floor at some point, so I opted for plastic. I dug around in our pantry and found this set of plastic Mason style jars we had used for picnics. They are actually wide mouth, unbreakable cups (lids don’t fit these/they are not for canning).
An Invitation to Create
In the morning, I just opened the garage door, and put out the jars of water, brushes and paints on a step stool near the wall. I told them there was a surprise waiting for them in the garage. As soon as they stepped outside, they gravitated immediately to the paints and brushes waiting for them. Moments later, all I heard was singing and giggling as they painted.
Our nine-year old hugged me and thanked me. Our five-year old proclaimed it was the best day of his entire life.
All we really did was paint a wall white, and encouraged them to fill it with memories instead of things. They wander out to doodle and paint as creativity strikes them. Sometimes they play music. Sometimes they sing. Sometimes they just enjoy painting.
I call this project a success.
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